Category Archives: Cyberstalking

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Shockproofing Book Cover

Shockproofing Your Use of Social Media eBook available!

Category:Cyberstalking,Facebook,Information Security,Infosec Communicator,Internet Safety,Lessons Learned,mobile device,password,Privacy,Risk,Social Networking Tags : 

Shockproofing Book CoverMy Shockproofing Your Use of Social Media: 10 Things You Should Know eBook is now available on Kindle!

For those of you who have attended one of my Lightning Talks about Internet Safety, this book fleshes out my recommendations for keeping safe online.

Please consider buying a copy. You’re welcome to lend your copy out and the book is also available from the Kindle Owners Lending Library and Kindle Unlimited.

If you read it, please leave a review!

If you’re interested, Nick Francesco and I are authoring a series of Your Guru Guides on computing-related subjects. (Search on Amazon for “your guru guides” to see what’s currently available.)

 

 


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Save the date! Bulletproofing Your Career Online live webinar 8/2, 4-5 pm EDT

Category:Cyberstalking,Facebook,Information Security,Infosec Communicator,Internet Safety,Presentations,Privacy,Risk,Social Networking,STC,Summit,techcomm Tags : 

Hannah Morgan and I will be presenting Bulletproofing Your Career Online as an STC webinar on Thursday, 2 August | 4:00–5:00 PM EDT (GMT-4)

What are the 10 key steps to building and securing your online reputation? A security professional and a career sherpa provide their perspectives on how to create an online presence that enhances and promotes your career safely and effectively.

Register at https://www.stc.org/education/online-education/live-seminars/item/bulletproofing-your-career-online?category_id=53

Is it worth attending? Of course!

Here’s the feedback we received from our in-person presentation delivered at the STC Summit in May:

Ratings

Note: The evaluation scale ranged from 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent).
Overall Evaluations Received: 15
Content:  4.07
Delivery: 4.07
Value: 4.27
Overall rating: 4.14

Selected comments:

  • Ben was a good speaker with great knowledge about his topic. He and Hannah played well off each other, tackling related topics and bouncing off one another’s words.
  • Even if you think you’ve heard it all before, this presentation gave more insight and more information that was very beneficial
  • We could do have more of this type of thing. I think it’ll be a valuable (and increasingly so) job skill.
  • It was superb.
  • The delivery and content were a nice mixture of internet security and managing your online profile. The format worked well with the presenters taking turns. It made the session more lively.

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Parenting in the Cyber Age: A Parents’ Guide to Safer Social Networking

Category:Cyberstalking,Facebook,Infosec Communicator,Internet Safety,Privacy,Risk,Social Networking,Uncategorized Tags : 

At the computer
Are you as a parent worried about what your kids may encounter online? Are you unsure of how they or you can stay safe online when using social networking sites?  Although our kids are now college grads, we had the same concerns about the dangers our kids faced online as most of you do.

In my professional life, I’m a technical communicator at a large private technology university. I am responsible for making staff and students aware of information security issues—a role which has probably made me even more paranoid about the dangers out there on the Internet!

I’ve also had the opportunity to take part in a few K-12 Cyber Security Awareness initiative that gave me an opportunity to talk to teachers and parents about online issues and listen to their questions and concerns. I’ll address some of these concerns in this post. I am also interested in what you would like to know about security issues, so please comment on this post.

Oh…one other thing…my goal is to make this topic understandable for the average layperson. You do not need to be a technology expert to learn how to stay safe online and to keep your kids safe!

Social Networking Concerns

In the last several years, teens and young adults have flocked to social networking sites or blogging sites, such as MySpace and Facebook. This has given them opportunities to meet and communicate with people of similar interests, share information, gather numerous “friends,” share pictures and videos, and even discuss important issues. (Most of these social networking sites are inappropriate for preteens. Although most social networking sites require members to be at least 13, enforcement is next to impossible.)

Risks and Preventive Measures

Sharing Private information—It is extremely easy for unscrupulous people to gain access to you and your children’s private information. When your kids use social networking sites, read the site’s privacy policy. It tells you what information the owners of the web site collect, and how they intend to use it. Make sure that you and your kids understand how that information may be shared.

Profiles—Encourage your kids to guard their information. Keep private information private. Ask them to restrict access to their profiles, when possible, to “friends only.”

You may find that it’s hard for teenagers to take this seriously and understand the risks. Help them choose screen names carefully. Help them choose a reasonably “complex” password—at least 8 characters using a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols (when allowed).

Blogs—Encourage your kids to not share personal information, including their ages, schools, addresses, phone numbers, and parent and sibling names. Make sure they’re not posting information about their social plans. (Don’t give someone who is cyber stalking them information about where they’ll be at a given time.)

Moderating Comments—Ask your kids to approve comments by their friends before they allow them to be posted. Their friends may be less than careful with both their own and your kids’ information.

Inappropriate language and pictures—College admissions offices and potential employers search online to see what kind of information prospective students and employees post online, especially in social networking sites. If they see what appear to be “character issues” portrayed, your teens may not be accepted for their college or job of choice.

Making themselves a target—People can pose as anybody online. That 15-year-old friend might be a 45-year-old male looking for “company.” Sexual predators use social networking sites to identify and engage potential victims. Identity thieves look for private information to use to gain access to victim’s bank accounts or credit.

It’s forever—There is another big problem most of us do not think about. Information we post online NEVER really goes away. Even when you delete a blog entry or a picture, it is “cached” somewhere on the Internet. There are sites on the Internet that specialize in archiving other Web sites.

What you can do

  1. Talk to your kids.
  2. Ask them to help you set up your own profile and page on the same sites they use.
  3. Subscribe to their blogs and read what they are posting.
  4. Respond to their posts.
  5. Look at the pictures they have chosen to share.
  6. Find out who their friends are and see what kind of information they share.
  7. If you have a family computer, try to put it in an open area where you can see your kids’ online activities.
  8. If your family has multiple computers sharing an internet connection through a router, you may want to consider restricting the times their computers can connect to the Internet. Restricting access to reasonable hours helps ensure that they (or you) are not spending all night online.

My philosophy as a parent has been to teach my children how to interact with the world while maintaining their spiritual values. Despite your best efforts, your children are going to encounter these dangers at some time. In my experience, you cannot prevent them from doing something they are intent on doing.

Let’s make sure they know how to protect themselves now, before they’re in an environment where we aren’t there to supervise or teach these lessons.

An earlier version of this article was published previously in Christian Computing Magazine.
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Ten Ways to Shockproof Your Use of Social Networking Lightning Talk

Category:Cyberstalking,Facebook,Information Security,Infosec Communicator,Internet Safety,Presentations,Privacy,Risk,Social Networking,STC,Summit,Uncategorized Tags : 

I had the privilege of presenting my 25-minute presentation on Shockproofing Your Use of Social Media as a five-minute Lightning Talk at the STC Summit in Sacramento on May 18th.

Lightning talks introduce an additional element of stress for the presenters: the slides advance every 15 seconds whether they’re ready or not. Our audience was ~150 Summit attendees, so we were presenting to our peers as well.

It’s quite the experience sharing the stage with eight other presenters with totally different styles. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat!

Other STC Summit 2011 Lightning Talks

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